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Book TV After Words

Richard Miniter Education. (2012) 'Leading From Behind The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.'

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United States 14, Israel 8, U.s. 7, Nancy Pelosi 7, Chicago 6, Clinton 6, Valerie 4, America 4, Us 4, Iran 4, Washington 4, Europe 4, Eric 3, Obama 3, Benjamin Netanyahu 3, Pelosi 3, Panetta 2, Robert Gates 2, Leon Panetta 2, Phoenix 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV After Words    Richard Miniter  Education.  (2012) 'Leading From Behind  
   The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.'  

    September 23, 2012
    9:00 - 9:59pm EDT  

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>> host: rich, congratulations on your new book. .. in the front of the room making the hard calls. he had very little if any management experience, and then
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suddenly he is in the most important managerial job in the world, president of the united states, leader of the free world. my question was how does he do it? how does he decide? how does he make decisions? how does he govern? not the context of the decisions, that's interesting, too, but what is the leadership style? i looked around for books a serious sustained way. >> host: do you see this as a campaign document coming out very close to the elections? >> guest: they do like to time things when people are paying attention and most americans tune in to politics around election time. >> host: each one of the things the with surprise to readers use it twice in the book those democrats this is a very critical study of the obama leadership all of the sources were democrat. tell us about that decision. >> guest: some of the politics
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longtime technical people in the defense department or the intelligence services and so on but for the most part these are people that worked alongside the president in one capacity or another in the white house and we need federal agencies in the house of congress to see him up close. what i discovered much to my surprise is this illustration is losing by rivalries, those in tend disagreement in this administration much life the reagan and the nixon administration but much unlike the last bush administration which was very corporate in its cultural field. there wasn't a lot of fighting. the bush memoirs haven't been that some might be. this administration is very different. there is a lot of confusion and frustration. and the administrations, the culture of the administration reflects, so you have obama,
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someone that comes across the people that know him as a sort of movie and indecisive, sensitive, someone that has been the jokes in his presence when he is not the one that is telling them. he's not a constant predictable north star, and that comes through the cultural administration's a lot of those people were in the top because at some point some of it has spent weeks or months working on a decision working on a policy just to have the last minute by one of the advisers that surround obama that had little briefing in the issue and sort of slow been and undo the work of a careful negotiations. it was an ideological motivation. a personal motivation, they don't talk to the investigative reporters. >> host: that's certainly true. let's go through the case studies you talked about. we found this discussion going
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after the osama bin laden that is refitting to read you have details in there that we hadn't seen before. and this is described over and over again as a national democratic convention. it's an old device if president but you describe it very differently you talk about paralyzing the decision and political calculation. tell us a little bit about your understanding of this to your decision process to go after osama bin laden. >> guest: there are two ways of looking at the decision. one is the media has been looking at it consistently which is the start about a day or two before the raid, and then they'll get the narrative of the rate itself and the aftermath. i was curious about the other way of looking at it which is to say what did the president know from the moments of the administration and then what were all of the decisions leading up to that final decision faugh clacks their looking at in of the sodium when you look at the movie, you look
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at the people involved, and you have to talk to people that are at a senior career level to take the view that no man is a hero. people that see it up close in a different way. you read a great man's biography in the interview his life in a different perspective. people saw a lot of in decision to read they saw a lot of back-and-forth, and these were people that had worked under clinton and w. bush. they certainly saw differences in the presidency's they were not necessarily ideological foes of the president, the base of the operation and planning of the operation sold three times in 2011 and they were incredulous and asked why. valerie jared didn't like the idea as a mentor to the president and first lady that led them to stop.
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it's the normal chain of command they should stop working on the raid commander when they ask why, this was the reason that came back. >> host: was he involved in the discussions? hillary clinton, robert gates and leon panetta. was she in the room? >> guest: not clear but probably not. there were discussions between valerie jared and the president. remember what barack obama said. he told "the new york times" in 2009 and for making an important decision without talking to valerie first. he said they were there two to three times a day. in the first administration while they were hunting bin laden, according to the white house visitor logs the director leon panetta only visits the white house nine times, so two to three times a day on the one hand versus nine times in two
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years. >> you describe how a number of political advisers met judging by the white house logperch. >> host: this is the interest in the politics. >> host: dimension the president was able to make small decisions but never the big decisions along the way. >> guest: people tend to think of it like a movie the president picks up the phone and tells them to go and cut to the next scene. the fact of the decision is complex and involves a lot of moving parts they've trained and rehearsed and even before that you have to decide what shape the mission is going to take command for much of 2010 it was an enormous d date in the administration. it shouldn't be an air strike. certainly the military favored that. the american lives strike are minimal, the ability to draw up
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enormous amounts and totally destroyed the target is almost guaranteed, that has political ramifications, too. valerie and others in the white house were concerned about perhaps killing or injuring thousands of civilians. ultimately the was ruled out and they contended that he was put forward opposed to doing anything what they liked that the command team as they thought that contained so many political problems ultimately you would never be approved and yet somehow because hillary clinton was insistent, robert gates was insistent, they managed to push the president to sign the final order to go. >> host: its striking giving the unanimity that is quite
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striking overall. >> guest: not very much in favor. >> host: tell us about some of the details that you uncovered at the command and i was interested in the discussion of adding someone that could speak some of the languages of the very last minute with fascinating details. >> guest: the cia interpreter had no strings jumping out of the helicopter with a fast growth of the moving helicopter which is something they do much like we do getting out of the cars she was in the second team of the cia and was able to speak in the local dialect to keep the neighbors who are curious about all the noise next door to go back to their homes and so on, and he sounded like a pakistani policemen, the authoritarian voice that they have heard many times before. >> guest: host could was striking. in an interesting thing about the raid in particular is the
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helicopter crash the fields had done and actually did until the situation. why was that? >> guest: they had constructed down to the last inch an entire markup of the compound but they had created the outer fence the joost chain link. for the scaling purposes, that was fine, but what they didn't know this is how that changed the air flow for the helicopters and in the downdraft that air would go through the chain-link and allow the aircraft to settle perfectly. but they didn't anticipate how the narrow concrete walls which wouldn't allow the air to pass wouldn't provide the list necessary for the helicopter to slowly land and that is probably the cause of the crash. >> host: have you read the account of the navy seal that has released a book at this point? >> guest: i have not played spoken to a number of people preparing my chapter who were
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involved. >> host: let's go back to the leadership decision today that they were flying to afghanistan. it's my understanding they were not ready to give the mission ago. >> guest: the call for a 24 hour delay, and that made me curious. but some difficulty i got the weather report viewed by the navy seal with of the media logical center. was getting the reports the beginning they said they are classified. we are talking about whether from a year ago in another country. that's where i got the weather reports and there was really no cause for the weather delay at all. it was a night in which the moon wasn't as bright for the helicopters and the weather and the wind was fine. but the delay was entirely political and you see even at the last minute president obama he was going to backfire and this is something that valerie
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had been pounding for quite awhile. she was concerned was going to be something like the desert one. it was a failed effort to rescue the hostages held in iran. the american aircraft collided and of the servicemen died, and it was a pivotal point in the carter presidency. at that point people said it's not just the economy come he really can't lead, and she was afraid, valerie, that if it went badly this was going to be the point in the obama presidency. we had a lot of uncertainty about the future of the economy and the country and allies that were uncertain about the essence. we had a lot of american prestige abroad, and then if he were to add to this the disaster in an attempt to kill the modern the would be the pivot point.
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she was concerned about the politics and election possibility triet hill rip -- laurie clinton and panetta were concerned. this is a guy that killed 3,000 americans and if america ever learned that we had them in our site and didn't pull the trigger. >> host: that's where the leadership position comes in. i think certainly the president's in decision early on given the lives of so many have stayed in the raid is certainly something the leaders could understand, but what happened afterwards i thing was quite striking and perhaps the fingerprints of flowery jarrett. >> guest: perhaps. bin ladens the five bodies clashed off the deck of the carlton hours before and now here's the president of the united states racing to the television cameras to tell the world coming into the intelligence and the mother to recommit the e. why would you give away one of vintage when we really have an [alarm sounding] which is that of surprise.
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you can use the hefty trash bags full of documents, some from drives come hard drives had bin laden there. why not spend a week or two with of the dhaka that exploitation teams, the cia in the intelligence team and so on and translate those? you could have located every single al qaeda operative in the world. you could have learned who were the secret movers of money and where do they get it from? the charities or other means, drugs, smuggling and others. there are a lot of theories about where does it come from and what plots do they have inside of the united states and australia. you have a blueprint for the entire network and once you have that network as long as it doesn't know that bin laden is dead, you can swoop in and surprise them, kill and capture the leaders around the world, dismantle the organization and
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with a war. if he was willing to wait a couple weeks or months before the announcement he wouldn't just be announcing bin laden's's death, he would be announcing the death of al qaeda and a victory in the war on terrorist and he threw them away for a few minutes for television cameras. it's incredible. >> host: it's very clear that he gave that television cameras that were written and he was ready to go publicly and as you say that surprised so many of the senior advisers. >> guest: he wrote it along with been rhodes and was very influential. >> host: let's move on to the second case study were the others in the book that i thought was fascinating living in the middle east or hardly ever from the service of the politics and once again this morning that the assassination of the libyan ambassador and the story is once again. but you talk in particular about president obama's relationship with prime minister netanyahu of europe. tell us first about some of the influence on president obama in
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terms of his thinking of the situation and thinking of the listed of israel. >> guest: when you look to this relationship which is really falling apart in the united states and israel people say that it's just bad chemistry between debate between the elected president of the united states apps. unfortunate circumstances. sometimes that happens in life. however what they do is put the goal of the country and of the organization ahead of the personality. what i discovered this is not really a personality clash. obama's thinking goes back to the early 1980's, and count three handwritten letters written by barack obama by a palestinian activist where he's trying to ingratiate himself and
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i touched on this briefly in the book. reverend wright as he goes after him as somebody that's going to help him rise and he takes on his view of israel as well, when most importantly, you have the rabbi who is a neighbor in hyde park in the area of chicago, and he is on the far left of american politics and the american jewish experience. this is a person who in 1979 pin the inaudible saying that you should stop talking about the holocaust. think about this. this is in the late 1970's which many holocaust survivors are still alive. they're still showing their tattoos from the death camps to the president and the press. it's the incredible consciousness of the television series the holocaust. they're coming to grips that even in the democracy, genocide can happen, and it's important
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teaching moment in the jewish community and the larger american experience, and in that moment, he said we should stop talking about the holocaust. look what you are doing to the palestinians. there is also cash the first leader of the jewish organization in america to call for the independent palestinian state. so this is someone that is very far out on the left. he is a harsh critic of israel and most particularly of the party of benjamin netanyahu. so, because of the decades that he spent with rabbi wolfe, to the palestinians of course it colors his thinking. in his book obama says that he visited israel. that's true. he visited for 48 hours and you have to subtract from that the 18 hours of the flight time there and back from newark. it's very small, very small amount of time that he spent in israel and most of the meetings
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are with people of a like-minded persuasion. he doesn't meet ordinary israelis and get a sense of the broad spectrum of the opinion. his knowledge is based on the work of people. he's certainly a world-famous writer worth meeting that had a distinct view that as outside of the mainstream view of israel which is to say the israeli democracy is fundamentally flawed because it isn't giving full citizenship to the palestinians and granting and so one. he comes to his first meeting with netanyahu where the set of ideological. >> host: one of the new groups that you see in the politics or excuse becoming u.s. is real politics in washington, d.c. i did you make the point in the book that members of this group have been very influential and a
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number of meetings in the administration use adjusted panetta had declared the white house all the. >> guest: he visits nine times in two years and in the same period they visit more than 45 times. and i would never have thought to look for them except in the conference in 2011 to hear what he had to say, and the head of the supreme court justice and clinton administrations, the obama administration officials but he brags about his access to the white house and they certainly bear that out. certainly he's visited much more than any of the mainstream organizations or any of the israeli and business organizations. it's just they are a cold peace between fidel israel and the united states. >> host: and you understand
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leadership deutsch and his relationships with netanyahu or what your expectations are in the weeks and months ahead. >> host: >> guest: i think that he miscalculated what a leader he is and someone who's only brother die as rescuing the hostages. he himself, benjamin netanyahu is injured in the rescue effort in the subpoena planes and he has been a commando. he's the son of one of the most committed a violent scholars and someone that is steeped in history and tradition and as brief and the idea that he might be intimidated by the office of the presidency is simply silly and someone that had agreed access to the u.s. media. people believed they could roll netanyahu was a gamble and to double down on that simply made things worse. but, there is no obvious goal to
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the policy if they will not persuade certainly benjamin netanyahu to revert to the 1967 line. this foolish even to asked. >> host: as you to get the situation in the middle east, how can he go forward given the leadership of the lack of leadership that you've shown in this area? for >> guest: waiting the problem from the 1970's which is to say peace between palestinians and the israelis and after the 1993 accords in which they were granted more than 98% of what they wanted and still said no i think a lot of the israelis, the moment for making the all over peace has passed. meanwhile gove the sunnis and arabs and the jews are concerned
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about the birth of the persian bomb. thousands of spending in iran now, 24 different sites so the of avoided making a mistake when 1981 they bombed the reactor in iraq. they spread the program out and brought in the russian scientists from other countries as well. it's a very sophisticated effort and they've adopted a long-term missiles to carry the atomic devices. they're very determined to become an atomic power and it's important to remember what atomic powers to. they don't fit to make atomic bombs. they threaten to do so and extract the concessions of the threats and when i took to the officials in bahrain and saudi arabia the are equally terrified as israelis and they know what kind of concessions the persians are going to demand, and they are not going to be small in
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their edition. >> host: frightening. let's move on to fast and furious where the inspector general's report eric holder and the president talked about waiting for the verdict on what actually happened to the fast and furious subornation but this is another example of the deficiencies in obama's leadership in particular dealing with a subordinate in this case the attorney general of the united states, personal friend of the president. let's walk through the steps of what happened, and talk about obama's leadership. >> guest: what happens when a subordinate is caught in the line? the attorney general and the staff had to attract one statement. multiple sworn statements. they have to change the stories of a number of times and it's clear that in a little in evidence the of a dignified some 70,000 pages of documents in response to their request. >> host: they don't feel
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they've got them all at this point. >> guest: it is an incredible number and with the subpoena issue they only have two choices if the documents wrinkly when not true for the documents instead they did something very unusual which is the extension of executive privilege. executive privilege usually protect the president and his connect advisers so they can offer candid advice tebeau usually that is outside of the scope of the congressional investigation and of course penn bank national security or criminal cases and go through the subpoena. they are just trying to cover eric holder. look at the complex relationship between eric alterman and the president of the united states. first of all, there is incredible debt of gratitude.
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early on in 2007, obama's candidacy for presence looked like a long shot. eric holder had been deputy attorney general under clinton and came to work for his campaign. they were able to push that to the donors and the press and people are coming over. we do have a future. and then eric holder in the course of the campaign was there at a number of key moments. the reverend, one example where he was able to handle the crisis and help them either win the donations are spent some the in the press or work on the key speeches. so he and the president became very close. he is one of the few cabinet members may be the only cabinet member to see the president on the social basis welcome the white house residence unlike other cabinet secretaries. print this in perspective the traditions of the 33 lahood didn't see the president after he was sworn in until his son was kidnapped. so this was for several years
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and he is from illinois. the chicago connection, too. the one agenda yet they didn't see each other for six years. eric holder has a close personal relationship. but more importantly, eric colder has a deep relationship with leaders of the black community the president simply does not have. he knows that al sharpton and jesse jackson sr. and jr. and longtime personal relationship and many other influential black leaders and so, the political calculation here is if president obama friars miracle your, he just fired the first african-american of trade general in the united states. how does that play with the key voting bloc to read another matter is to see replace eric holder with? time is short and hard to come from somebody with the senate going into the reelection so it
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is a difficult problem with the test of leadership as usual ways who's lost trust of those he works with and remove the statistics more than 200 some members of congress, house and senate have called on eric holder to resign this the largest number in history calling on any attorney general when putting nixon's attorney-general to resign. >> host: let's talk of the operation itself. most of the leaders are familiar with brian terrie but you say hundreds of members died because of the operation fast and furious. how do you support that? >> guest: hundreds of people inside mexico. the mexican justice department estimate based on the crime scenes and so on. one thing the people don't realize is that the of launched their own investigation into fast and furious and they've been sharing the result of that investigation of the u.s. congressional investigators said there is a fair amount of cooperation, but they did not
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approve the operation in advance. they were not told of the operation until the service in the u.s. press. >> host: where did it originated? was in phoenix or the fbi office in phoenix and what do we know about that? >> guest: with this in perspective. the alcohol tobacco and firearms bureau is the main regulator of the firearms of the united states, yet the problem is that legal firearms are used and for crimes. less than 1% involving guns involve the lawfully obtained firearms. murder and so on these are almost always using black market guns so the agency for a long time wanted jurisdiction to expand its operations because -- had the needed to have an area that the lawfully obtained firearms were used to expand the jurisdictions. at the center and the political party also wanted about a recent
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supreme court case that had identified the second amendment, and they wanted to bring back the gun control so there was an ideological agenda and a career agenda. the operation had been tried on a wide receiver but there were more controls in place and the operation was a failure. it wasn't a dangerous failure as fast and furious but they decided to double their mistake early in the obama year. how far it went with the president involved in the attorney-general so far we don't know. but it seems likely, given in operation of this magnitude and the swift cover-up and that of the whistle blowers were demoted, transferred or fired in all the people that participated who stonewalled were promoted or brought back to washington and were given transfers. there were certainly kept in their post. the one who was stonewalled was fired.
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those who cooperated in the investigation were pushed out of the agency. host free sad chapter has everybody knows. let's move on to something more direct in the policy and that is the health care initiative would you describe as the signature initiative in the administration and this provides you other examples of obama's leadership and in particular with relation to nancy pelosi because the house who was a criminal the influential and the health care debate moving it forward with the president leading from behind. >> guest: i don't share nancy pelosi's politics but i admire her as a leader in a visionary and in this book i really got a different sense of nancy pelosi. here is someone who was generous of the prerogatives feature to become speaker like the office but had a definite ideological agenda and this was the pitch. health care reform had been part
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of the progress of the agenda for a century. they had been on the democratic platform and the truman years everyone try to come lbj tried, clinton tried, she wanted to try and win and wanted to get some version of the national health service in the united states. first we had to win over obama himself, rahm emanuel and the chief of staff was a post. he said wait a minute. >> host: she's seen this before. >> guest: exactly. he knew how it ended. the republicans controlled house representatives. partly on the back of what they called hillarycare so it was going to be a political disaster. he could see it coming. nancy pelosi was determined she had won over the president. but it doesn't mean he stays on the reservation. there were key moments in which it looked like it was going to
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fail, and obama want to distance himself from that so he was pulling the disappearing act and pelosi would have to hunt him down and get him to call away from the senator and congressman that wasn't sure. she had the congressman barney frank. most of the some of the reasons that he was in chicago went along and washington in part because of the differences on health care. >> guest: that as part of a also, difference is most likely. but also the executive personality fits right in. he's probably doing a good job as the mayor of chicago. >> host: let's talk about what nancy pelosi did come and i am particularly interested in the last few weeks when she ruled harry reid she did what she wanted to do. >> guest: she would come of the number of innovative maneuvers like the task and she comforted her own members. she pushed it through.
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we will get through the gate and she is absolutely determined and she got there but ultimately she didn't get to go she got the bill passed but lost the speakership as a result and would probably in her political career in the political minority in the wilderness as a result. >> host: do you think obama was thinking about all along on his hesitation at every stage in the the date? was he worried about -- he was obviously very concerned about the political calculation. >> guest: it is a matter of degree. it was the blink of an eye on the u.s. senate and a moment before that as a junior lawmaker he is just adapting to being the president of the united states and doesn't fully realize that it is a different kind of post
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in which when you are a junior lawmaker you have to disassociate yourself very quickly so when he saw obamacare getting into trouble he wanted to back away she the so a junior lawmaker would act in the committee the speaker of the house was a senior ceo where they saw speed bumps and mountains in the way and a decline them and they get their. that is and what jr people do. they set themselves up for the next thing. i don't think that obama has made it a mental adjustment. >> host: his ability to set priorities and move forward with another step in the priorities. >> guest: they were very much set by of the people especially with obamacare. the legislation is actually the work of nancy pelosi. >> host: we didn't hear much of that at the convention.
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>> guest: >> host: you and bob woodward in his book on the obama presidency seem to be a very much in agreement on the discussion of the debt ceiling in 2011. talk about those. >> guest: we probably talk to some of the same people. although i have no way of knowing. she was an extraordinary moment in american politics. the tea party brings the republicans back from the dead. they get control of the conference. john boehner, speaker of the house, and he realizes that he has to confront his own caucus if he's went to save the united states from the credit rating downgrade. the credit rating agency, moody's and so on, prepared in 2011 for the first time in history to downgrade the united states from the aaa status and this is going to be a political disaster. he can feel that in the back of his scalp this is going to be
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blamed on the republicans. if you feel the political game but also about the country does he went to the two heartbeats away from the presidency at the moment when the americans credit is downgraded for the first time in history? so he does something extraordinary. he acts like a leader. he comes up with a compromise and what they call a grand bargain. that is a political impossibility from where he sits but he does come up with a way to close the tax loopholes to raise some $800 billion in new revenue. that should be enough to make a deal with the president and he seeks out obama and together they are meeting secretly in the golf courses and the back patio of the white house and they come to deal. the even shake hands and they can tell the history at their backs to reform entitlements or
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the vice president is deeply involved and he comes in at the last moment. there are other players involved. absolutely. but, at the very moment they are making the deal and they shake hands, obama suddenly gets cold feet and he realizes the gang of six raises some 1.2 trillion revenue more than 800 billion. ultimately they decide they are going to do with the code torpedo rather than confront the literal minds of the senate from various states who don't want to give up the revenue and reform entitlements. they don't want to take the legacy and change it and they are not prepared to confront their own on the logical path, a and obama as a leader in the
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united states is not prepared to get half a dozen old men to say with a minute, the country is about to go off a cliff and this time to rethink things should. if i go with you i will get a absolutely nothing. instead, he goes with them and he gets nothing. the trust in washington is gone. now the senate democrats don't trust him and the president is unable to govern and a key economic area deciding the federal budget itself. it's an extraordinary moment and even more extraordinary the press has >> host: if obama is reelected with ford this portend? >> guest: i think if the house and senate remain as the are now and obama is reelected and the status quo simply continues i think they get stagnation.
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>> host: and if they gain control again? if the continue to control the senate. >> guest: they do control the house going forward. and the lack of trust among the key players is the enormous. the inability to think outside of the box. let's look at the big picture here where the entitlement state is created in the 1930's and expanded in the 1950's but it's almost 50 years ... but the other thing in american life has gone unchanged in 50 years the fact that one of the local party is not prepared to make any reforms in the entitlements is simply extraordinary, and this is a crisis that is happening not just in the united states but throughout the western world this is happening in europe and what is happening in japan and happening in australia. as it is set to retire we have
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to confront the entitlement state and they are going to have to reform those promises were these economies will simply implode and if they are going to grow up with the leaders >> host: president thomas relationship to talk about the debt ceiling that is going to decide to run for presidency and i think many people that's been extraordinarily detrimental to the success. >> guest: in one of his books he has agreed anecdote between lucey and harry reid and obama, and obama is going on at some length and nancy pelosi these over and starts a conversation. that illustrates and i have heard similar versions from my own resource, that is a lack of trust simply isn't fair.
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they see him as an empty suit he hasn't been able to deliver on anything. they think about all the things they tend to see obama as an equal genius which i think is key is an ordinary man trying to make the best that he can but he has deeply disappointed. they have a much bigger agenda but they needed a personality like lbj to make that happen and they neglected to notice in 2008 that hillary might have had the personality. she probably does actually but obama definitely does not. this is someone that this salles -- solitary. he is a resident to the white house and well staffed doesn't know how he is going to decide on the key issues. >> host: let's go back to the chapters we talk about the
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enormous influence over president obama tell us about that. >> guest: been attacked by some and the press. i think the strong confident women are a wonderful fein. it's the sign of a generational change in politics. george bush listened to a number of strong women as welcome for example but what is extraordinary about obama is that he needs someone that can read his complex and ever-changing moods where he is successful women who tend to be better at this, e and i don't want to sound like freud with his mother would like to have a relationship at arm's length commercials solitary and progressive and almost like a hippie in her outlook.
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but she knew that she was independent and wanted a lot of time alone in command for a small child this is a difficult experience that he learned. this is what he became familiar with. then she abandoned hammes 13 to write her dissertation. he looks at the key women in his life and it's a very unusual figure. simultaneously an adviser to the president and first lady. she finds all of her significant jobs involved in every aspect. she is the only adviser in history that goes on vacation with of the first family. >> host: tell us how that relationship started and about her background which i thought was fascinating. >> guest: her father is a noted researcher at the university of chicago and opens
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the hospital in iran and she is born marion spends a lot of her childhood fall and her parents from the middle east and in some places western europe so a lot is outside of the united states. so when she meets barack obama in 1991 at the cafe in chicago they have a childhood spent overseas. they grew in muslim countries and iran and indonesia and the have a different perspective. they are definitely on the left part of the american political spectrum in the they have a sort of disdain for what they control american parochialism and that becomes a bonding moment for the imperial but let's not forget who valerie is to be obama's. she is the gilded or to date way into the establishment. she knows everyone from across
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person successful family there's been successful for a long period of time. the deputy chief of staff to stop the development project and went to stanford law school rather than michigan law school. someone that is a very influential and very connected and very powerful and is able to do beneficial things come so they become free grateful, yet becomes a third member of the family. hillary clinton as another strong woman. and that i find really interesting to rely can't wait to read her memoirs. >> host: of the generational change. >> guest: here is someone that has been a rival in the 2008 campaign and this is one of the most harsh nomination fights in
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the history. she is given a seat at the table, she's offered to be the secretary of state as the party unity very few of the supporters and senior staff were brought in a sad fenestration and they're going to put her on an island they are not intending to visit. they are not going to be sending postcards. she asked on one condition, she will take the job under one condition. she wants a weekly standing meeting with the president and she gets it but i that the first two meetings were pretty awkward. the usually occurred on fears the mornings. but in the course of the meetings, she moves over the president through her hard work in the intelligence and he comes to realize that she is a familiar figure, she is a strong, confident progressive minded woman and he said women like her before it fills comfortable with her and she
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knows how to read him and spent her life dealing with difficult men. what her relationship with her father, her brother, other men in her life, she knows how to do it and how to deal with barack obama. >> host: we should conclude by talking about the leadership itself and what you think are the key ingredients. you mentioned quite a few of them in the chapter on how those reflected what we have seen in barack obama. >> guest: a leader stays engaged. we have barack obama walking out of the 2,009 during the breeding of the gulf oil spill crisis here the room is crowded with coast guard officials and the epa and the department of energy and so on. he says i am out and he walks out of the room. the negotiations get tough with john out one point he blocks of
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of the room and with the then speaker pelosi i am not a stupid man and what sort of the room they win people over to the vision to persuade compromises and cuddles, coaches, those with has to be done and get there forever there is. that is one of the suspect. the other is tough on the support and it's just as he is tough on himself and when someone has lost the trust of his fellow colleagues, when he has acted unethical, he needs to go. a leader has a vision, too. >> host: in the principle. yet all the qualities a leader needs to have to be the >> guest: a leader needs to be if this of obstacles. if you are a solitary ceo of a corporation, it is about scaling
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of the obstacles. overcoming adversity, and you don't give up. you in spite. keep going and inspire yourself and followers second near the keep going until you get there and the impossible gets to be possible that people with vision and determination is the reason we have leaders and we do not randomly select people out of the crowd. not everybody has that quality. the question of the selection is does barack obama have the leadership qualities to take us there. >> host: you said a number of times they take this for a larger cause and i know some of you have not seen in obama. >> guest: i have not seen in obama. certainly nancy pelosi to quit her own for one and a larger cause and you can debate the merits of that cause but she had the best and took that larger cause and succeeded for better and for worse.
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barack obama took on something that was truly a political the risky and the closest you get to that when you look at that in london rate is the series of stops and starts and stalls and their story about what actually happened a number of times there are so many things about that that simply don't add up. here's one. they gave the nod in the muslim terri hail -- for burial. who was the chaplain on duty that day clacks there wasn't one. >> host: interesting. looking at the public opinion, struck by the fact if you ask americans barack obama or mitt romney, barack obama wins every time. why do you think that is? >> host: they get a pretty big debt between the two candidates. >> guest: i was shocked by the
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public opinion polls currently in the 11-point at a vigil for the foreign policy with barack obama and i can't see why. the only thing they talked about was killing them live in. >> host: that is what most people remember but i also think that obama has been actually on the same page in terms of the foreign policy leading from behind and americans are tired in terms of the foreign policy. that is and what a leader does decide. we have a crisis in the euro that could bring down the u.s. economy. we have a joblessness crisis. there are a lot of causes the president could pick the would resonate with the public and champion them instead of taking the obscure dates from the progress of wish list like the health care reform. >> host: we only have a few
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minutes left. tell us about your biggest conclusions and what you might do next. >> guest: well, you write a book to have a good question for a year or so. you want to spend some time really thinking and this book is a great surprise to me. i was expecting to find something very different. i was expecting to find a much more determined leader, someone who indicates a new generation of american politics. if you look at the debates in 2008 between john mccain and barack obama use of a hobbled dwarf speaking at a war that injured 40 years ago that no one was talking about who spoke in the language of the u.s. senate this resolution is complicated with and then have this call confident man who seems to connect with people.
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now, we see americans had to choose between those two people and they chose obama and we see them very much he too lost the ability to lead if he ever had it. we have a tendency sometimes in america to promote people before they are ready and then to make excuses for them once they, are there. but ultimately it exists on the national character, too. hopefully people don't perform. this is free to be very momentous year in which next year is could be difficult. we really examine the entitlement status and the nature of the american political life and more fundamentally we may be changing how we are doing things at home i think we have
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reached h. weiss played in american politics and the world is going to look very different for years now than it does today. >> host: you suggested it would be extraordinary if obama is elected in key areas that we need to make progress. how do you think americans will react to that? will there be turnover in 2014? what will the reaction be if we continue this pattern? >> guest: i think it is unlikely we're going to see obama get free elective although understand the polls give a substantial advantage and i see a sizable number of undecided looking at mexico flexible, eight to 9% of people are not decided and vote for gary johnson in new mexico. i think ultimately though this is another carter presidency. i think this is what happens. our best leaders are not visionaries, but obama is
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neither a visionary or competent leader. he is miscast and there is a tragic element to all of this. >> host: does this give you an idea for another book? can you tell us a little bit about it? thank you very much. this has been an extraordinary interview and congratulations once again on your new book, " leading from behind." that was "after words," booktv signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" errors every
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weekend of booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" on line. go to booktv.org and click on "after words" on the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. to get right into it i want to set the stage a little bit about the 1930's, and to explain part of what led to world war ii being such an upheaval for the united states, where the policies of franklin roosevelt during the 1930's. to give you some statistics, i will be brief. for instance factory output, the output of an american industry increased every decade beginning in 1899 for the following ten years, factory output was up 4.7%. from 1909 to 1919 and was up 3.4% every year.
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in 1919 to 1929, the roaring 20's, the factory production was up 5.1% each year. but 1929 to 1939 is decreased slightly every single year during the 1930's. so, our industrial complex of chris by 1939 has aged. it's out of touch with cutting edge innovations going on in europe and elsewhere, and suddenly we are faced with this problem a military complex in europe and we don't have anything to compete with them. in the book i mentioned that army chief of staff douglas macarthur at one point testified before the congress in 1935 pleaded for enough money so that his army would have enough bullets per 100,000 soldiers.
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we are not talking about stealth bombers or complex weapons. we are talking literally about just even enough bullets to man a hundred thousand army to buy certainly interest and if you are not a strong military american presence overseas, which we don't necessarily need, but i do think that a strong defense of america words of problems in the 1930's we didn't have that and germany was aware of that and so was japan and that leads to a lot of problems. the war of course comes along with the united states in late 41 and certainly factories have to be converted. but are you going to do? well, overnight for one thing they are restricted product to consumers. overnight in january, 1942, he could not buy tires for your car